Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio team with Hulu for ‘Devil in the White City’
Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese are teaming with Hulu for a series adaptation of Erik Larson’s book “The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair That Changed America.”
Craig Erwich, senior vice president of originals at the streaming network, announced the news Monday at the Television Critics Assn. winter press tour in Pasadena.
Paramount Television will produce “The Devil in the White City,” but further details were scant; there is no word yet on who will write the adaptation, whether DiCaprio will star or Scorsese will direct.
Written in a vivid, novelistic style, Larson’s 2003 nonfiction bestseller told the story of two men who made their mark during the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair: Daniel Burnham, the event’s architect, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer who lured many of his victims from the fair.
Despite its enticing subject matter and well-known source material, the project has faced a difficult development journey. Previous incarnations attracted the likes of Kathryn Bigelow and Tom Cruise, but eventually fell apart.
DiCaprio acquired the rights to the book in 2010, with plans to star as Holmes. As of 2015, Scorsese was to direct DiCaprio in a feature written by Billy Ray.
“The Devil in the White City” is yet another pricey, long-delayed adaptation to be rescued from development hell. A series adaptation of “The Alienist,” also produced by Paramount Television, finally made it to TNT last year, 24 years after the novel was first published.
Hulu has experience shepherding prestigious-but-tricky literary properties to the small screen, establishing itself as a player in original content with the Emmy-winning “The Handmaid’s Tale” and earning positive reviews for last year’s limited series “The Looming Tower,” based on Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning history of Al Qaeda.
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